Annie Yoder did something different during her rumspringa, she went into the English world and became a nurse. Upon her return she married herbalist, Samuel Yoder, who took care of the local Amish’s basic medical needs. As the story opens they are expecting their first child and her brother, Adam and his wife Leah are expecting for the first time too. Leah is carrying twins. The two women are very close. Annie wants to make Leah a special quilt for the babies. Thinking she has time to spare, (Leah isn’t due for two months), Annie gets a late start.
Leah unexpectedly goes into early labor, endangering her life and the babies. She is must be taken to a hospital in Philadelphia where she and the babies can be cared for. Annie agrees to stay with her until the babies are born.
Adam and Leah have been having struggles in their marriage since Leah became pregnant. Neither knows what the problem is and the distance grows between them. The sudden separation they experience while Leah is in the hospital causes both of them to view their marriage through different eyes.
Annie and Leah work on the quilt together and to pass the time share stories that illustrate the nine fruits of the spirit from Galatians chapter 5, one for each quilt square.
The community pulls together to have an auction to help pay for Leah and the babies hospital stay. Adam is overwhelmed by their love and generosity.
While this book would be a great read anytime, it is especially so for the Christmas season. Not because the story takes place around the holiday, but because of the many lessons associated with Christmas that can be learned from it.
Adam and Leah’s marital problems stemmed from losing focus on what was important. Adam was worried about finances and being a new father. Leah focused on her pregnancy discomfort and began to be selfish and ill tempered. When faced with the possibility of losing one another their priorities became very clear. I was reminded of how we lose focus of Christ, during the Christmas season. He is the true reason to celebrate, yet people caught up in buying gifts, decorating, preparing special food; everything except the Child that was the greatest gift of all. He should always be our priority and focus.
Annie made a great sacrifice to stay with her sister in law. She spent many days away from her husband whom she missed and loved. She sat long hours caring for Leah and keeping her company. The Amish community made sacrifices of time and possessions to help earn money for the young couple’s medical bills. This time of year the greatest sacrifice ever made began with the birth of Jesus. God sent His only Son to begin life on earth only to give it up for us.
I enjoyed the examples the women shared to illustrate Galatians 22 -23. It gave me the idea to do the same thing. I plan to find nine examples of each “fruit” from people and situations from my own life. This would be a great thing to do in a group as a Bible study too!
There are more examples I found, those were just a few. How many can you find?
A wonderful heartwarming book! This is the first of Ms. Chapman’s I have read and I look forward to reading more!
I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This is the first book in this series I have read, but the story didn’t leave me missing anything from the previous books. Beverly Lewis is on my favorite authors list. I have never read one of her books I didn’t enjoy.
The story line was very different. While so many stories involve Amish who want to leave the life and become “Englishers”, this one is about an “Englisher” that to wanted to leave the world and become Amish!
From the time she was young, Jenny Burns had been drawn to the Amish faith. Everything about them and their way of life deeply touched her. The wealthy, materialistic, fast paced life of Jenny’s family always left her at odds with them and not fitting in. This made her long for the simple life even more.
After corresponding for many years with an Amish friend, Marnie, she met on vacation; she feels she is ready to make the move. She saves her money, sells her earthly possessions, and quits her job. Marnie arranges for her aunt and uncle, the Lapps, to welcome her into their home and help her during her year of “Proving”.
Being a “seeker”, someone from outside desiring to become a church member, the community meets her with distrust or open arms, there doesn’t seem to be a happy medium. Jenny struggles to adapt, learning the language and all the skills she must have to be a true Amish woman. While she is very happy, she finds the way of life more difficult than she thought, but most of all her image of the Amish people being “perfect” is shattered. She finds they are just as human as she is.
Accidentally she stumbles on a secret of another’s that she would have to reveal when she joined the church or she would not be holding true to the Ordnung. That combined with her homesickness for her family, whom she never thought she’d miss nor would miss her, makes her begin to question if she can stay. She had grown to love the people and one young man in particular. What should she do? The ending has an unexpected twist!
I always enjoy the details about daily Amish life but this book gave me something extra. It looked not only into the hearts and minds of the Amish characters but also through the eyes someone outside of the faith seeing it from the inside for the first time. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Taste of Home has done it again! Another fantastic cookbook and great value! This hardback cookbook is a great addition to my collection. Taste of Home cookbooks are a favorite of mine. I can use the recipe knowing they have been thoroughly tested to make sure all runs smoothly in my preparation. I especially like this because I am not wasting my time or food investment throwing out a recipe “flop”.
Taste of Home Recipes Across America opens the door to a whole new experience in learning about and cooking family favorites from different regions in the U.S. that is different from your own. This way I won’t get in a rut of just “southern” cooking. I love the fact that the recipes come from 100’s of other cooks just like me all across the U.S., not just recipes from one person. This adds so much variety and creativity for my meals!
Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, West Regions are well represented with Main dishes, Sides and More, and Sweets. The color pictures of recipes are excellent. Recipe lay outs are easy to read and follow. I enjoyed the “dishing out about food” boxes on the pages that interesting information and history on different foods. Also included are color pictures from each region highlighting yearly special events and locations in those areas. This cookbook would be fun just to curl up in a chair with and browse through. There is so much to read and see!
The back of the book had two handy indexes. One listed the recipes in alphabetical order. The other was quite extensive and you could find the recipe by ingredient, regions, and type (appetizers, etc.). Finding it by ingredient is a bonus for me because I might have unthawed chicken and can’t decide what to fix, or I am craving something with eggplant and haven’t a clue what to make. These features make the cookbook very user friendly. Positively a cookbook you will want to own!
I received this book free from FBS Media. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Here is the perfect gift for the preschooler in your life! The cover is softly padded and washable with sturdy pages, making it perfect for those times when you snuggle together with your little one to share about God. I really liked the concept of “Teddy and me”. Most children have their favorite stuffed animal that is a comforting companion and very important to the child. The idea of this favorite “friend” sharing a special time is very appealing to children.
Old and New Testament stories are both included. Simple concepts and short stories make it easy for a young child to understand and help with short attention spans.
Engaging, colorful illustrations with the characters having a childlike quality, helps young ones further relate to the stories. At the end of each story is a rhyming poem or prayer related to the story’s lesson, and of course a picture of a child with their beloved Teddy bear. Not only do children love rhyming but it helps them to memorize and remember material.
This book is an excellent way to start a child on the way to loving God’s Word and understanding His love and care for them. The short prayers are a wonderful tool in teaching them they can talk to God. It is a beautiful book for the family library!
I received this book free from Kregel Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This is a remarkable story and beautifully written. I can tell it came straight from Mrs. Campbell’s heart. In her midwife career and still a very young woman, Catherine Campbell was called upon to care for a severely handicap newborn until it died. She put her heart into it, showing all the love and compassion a heart could hold in giving this precious child comfort in its last days. Little did she know, the child she was carrying would face not days but years of suffering, and not only one, but two of her children.
Her first daughter Cheryl was born with microcephaly, rare neurological condition where the baby’s brain does not grow. After 7 months of denying something was wrong the diagnosis hit her like a freight train. Her baby would never be normal. She was blind, could not speak, walk or talk, or even be able to know her mother and father. Her husband was a pastor and she was a strong Christian, but in the face of this devastating news, she struggled with her faith in God. She continued to seek Him and He gave her the strength and peace she needed.
Their 2nd child was a healthy little boy, Paul, but their third child, Joy, also had microcephaly. She was stretched to the limit caring for 3 children, two of which needed round the clock care and were very sick. She worked hard at giving Paul the time and love he needed while meeting the many other health complications and challenges of her daughters. Cheryl lived until she was 13 and Joy until she was 10.
While it might seem like this book was depressing, but it was not. Yes, it was very sad, but the hope and peace of God rang loud and clear throughout it. It was very inspirational.
I loved the way Mrs. Campbell called the promises God gave her in His Word as “rainbows”, referring to the rainbow of promise after the flood of Noah. She did not sugar coat any of her heartaches or doubts. Her honesty helped me relate to the very human emotions and thoughts we have when faced with overwhelming loss in our lives, no matter how strong a Christian we are.
I was blessed to see how she valued her daughters. She did not look at them as burdens or children that should never have been born, but each one as person in their own right. She saw their lives with purpose and significance no matter how different it might be from others. This is how we should view all life given by God. Having lost my husband recently, I treasured the scriptures and poems she shared. Our losses were very different but there are certain common denominators in all grief that I related to. This book gave me courage for the road ahead that I face. I had been struggling in spending time in the Word since my husband died. She shared that was something she made sure she did daily to receive the strength and peace she needed. That spoke volumes to me and I now purpose to do the same.
No this story didn’t have a happy ending but it was an incredible testimony of God’s power and love working through a willing and submitting vessel. My heart is so full after reading this book, not with sorrow but with joy. There is so much more I could share. I strongly encourage everyone to read it, especially if you in a valley of life right now and questioning God. Thank you Mrs. Campbell for this wonderful book!
I received this book free from Kregal Publications. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Please visit the author’s website at http://www.catherine-campbell.com to learn more about her and her other books.
The Title of this book hit straight home with me as I was asking myself the very same thing after my husband died suddenly. “Where do I go from here?” Even more so, “How do I go on from here?” The change was definitely unwanted but I had no clue on how to go on boldly. Mrs. Neff understood as not only had she faced being a widow, but many, many more painful life altering experiences.
Her message was something that I definitely needed. She understood the path I have so unwillingly been placed upon. She not only understands but has traveled it ahead of me and come out on the other side! This gives me hope! It not only covers the loss of a loved one but other defeats people face. While losses may differ coping with each one is much the same. The author gives you the bare bones tools to help yourself move ahead and let God lead.
I have been reading many books on the death of a spouse, but this one was different. Mrs. Neff doesn’t just share the details of her hardships but also the healthy biblical way to look at them. She covers emotional, mental, and even physical pitfalls to watch out for. I liked the way she directly addresses wrong mindsets and ideas a grieving person accepts.
The book is filled with wonderful illustrations and biblical truths to guide you in the new way of thinking you need to embrace. I found it uplifting and refreshing. Even though my loss is so new and fresh, I got a glimpse that there is a future ahead for me. I realized that God still has a plan for me and will work that plan, but it is my choice as to whether allow Him to. While I would not make all the choices the author did in her life, the basic truths and skills she shared can be applied to anyone’s life. I am still grieving deeply but this book gave me a light at the end of the tunnel, and the hope of moving forward one small step at a time. A very different book on loss!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I am not required to write a positive review.
Okay I have to make room for another book on my bookshelf! This one is a keeper. It is one I will reread and study many times over. When I first read the title I thought, “Okay another pie in the sky, Pollyanna book about how to be happy.” I was so wrong!
The author does not promise some quick fix ideas to a happy life that everyone would like to find. I liked this as I do not believe there are any. Instead he turns to God’s word and opens the door to what true happiness and how to achieve it realistically, God’s way.
I liked his honesty in the fact that happiness doesn’t consist of our mood or circumstances. In fact, it means facing some hard truths, biblical and personal truths about ourselves and our relationship with God.
He uses the Bible story of Joseph’s life and all the mistreatment, setbacks, heartaches and tragedies he faced and overcame by relying on God. I have always found these scriptures inspiring and encouraging but Mr. Giovannetti opened my eyes to even more lessons and truths. There are many more scriptures and Bible examples to study and “renew” your mind. The eleven “secrets” aren’t secrets at all but “meat” right from God’s Word that presented in a new way. He helped me see that in trying to obtaining happiness the worlds’ way, we are working against God, and then shares how to work with Him.
I loved the stories he shared about people today and his personal testimonies. I was pleasantly surprised at the delightful humor throughout the book. This book was a double blessing to me. Not just in the sound Bible teaching and inspiration but with having just lost my husband it is an encouragement in finding true happiness with the Lord. A book you WILL want to read.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
As a fan of Sherlock Holmes books, I must applaud Mr. Booth on his amazing ability to capture the personality and writing style of the real Arthur Conan Doyle. I felt like I WAS reading Sherlock Holmes.
Fame has proven more than Arthur Conan Doyle can handle so he decides to take a vacation in hopes of finding his family a new home where his celebrity status will not be under such scrutiny. He heads to Switzerland to the peaceful little town of Reichenbach Falls. His grand expectations of an escape into anonymity and peace are shattered when Richard Holloway must share his railroad car and recognizes him. Doyle is annoyed yet polite to his unwanted guest assuming that upon arrival they will go their separate ways. Once the train arrives, Holloway attaches himself to the leery author and even declares them friends to everyone.
Not long after his arrival a man is found dead and it is unknown if he is fell or pushed off a precipice. Pushed by Holloway to investigate the murder, Doyle finds himself being the prime suspect! Father Vernon, the local priest, is very helpful and caring in supporting Doyle, but could he possibly be withholding information?
The writing was rich in detail and description. Not just in what he saw, but also his opinions and perceptions of events and people. A wonderful mystery!
I received this book free from Kregel Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I appeciated this book because wholesome children’s reading material is hard to find nowadays. Betsy is the member of a large Polish family, 9 girls, and 1 boy to be exact! Their livelihood is farming; therefore the children have lots of chores and responsibilities from the oldest to the youngest. While they may not always like the work, the children do their chores well and as expected. The reader experiences daily farm life, family mealtimes, family traditions, and the special challenges of a big family. I thought the parent’s consistent guidelines and expectations of their children’s conduct was wonderful. There is real structure and security within the family, something sorely lacking in homes today.
The story is kept exciting with the disappearance of their 4 ½ year old sister, Christmastime, drunken pigs and a cooking fiasco that ends up with flying donuts! Visits from relatives bring home the blessedness of close family ties. There is always lots of fun and humor. Children will experience a simpler way of life where family is first and love abounds. This book is one of a series tracing a family’s roots for 5 generations back to 1867 which begins with The First Farm In the Valley. I highly recommend this book.
I received this book free from Bethlehem books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I couldn’t wait to read this 3rd book in the Amish Vines and Orchard Series! Ms, Woodsmall does a beautiful job of developing and continuing the story of Rhoda Byler and her life with the King family.
After leaving their families behind and moving to Maine, Samuel, Jacob, and Rhoda begin the hard work of restoring the neglected apple orchard they have purchased. They are also trying to establish a new Amish community so that others can join it.
Jacob and Rhoda’s romance continues but not without hindrances. His past mistakes keep intruding in their lives requiring him to deal with the consequences and right his wrongs. In Jacob’s absence Samuel is always there to help Rhoda with her struggles. He is even the first person to make her see her gift as something good, not evil.
Jacob’s jealousy of Rhoda and Samuel increases after finding out about an impulsive kiss they shared. She is heartbroken at being the one that caused a rift between the two brothers. She decides to move in with Camilla and Bob, her English friends that live in the woods behind the orchard to calm Jacob’s insecurities. Realizing he too is in love with Rhoda, Samuel decides to avoid being around her rather than hurt his brother. This only adds to the tension.
Rhoda’s unusual gift keeps making itself known and reveals some startling information about the couple’s past, but she can’t quite put all the pieces together right away. Would they listen? Should she tell them? She enlists Landon to do some internet sleuthing to help find the answers.
All the drama had to be put aside because an early frost threatens to destroy all their hard work. Everyone must work together around the clock to save the trees but this put an even greater strain between Jacob’s and Samuel’s relationship.
Rhoda’s heart is torn. If she marries Jacob the brothers will never have a relationship. If they stay and live in the Maine community, working together will be impossible. Can anything be done to solve this problem?
The surprises, the conflicts, and struggles each character faces trying to find God’s will in their life keeps the story moving along and exciting. I am anxious for the 4th book to come out! You will want to read all of them!
I received this book free from Waterbrook Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.